Lake County Fiber Plan Apparently Good as Done

The Minneapolis Star Tribune paints a happy picture for the ARRA-funded Lake County Fiber Network…

Since the northern Minnesota county won the state’s largest package of federal broadband grants and loans, $66.4 million, in 2010, it’s been fighting a running battle with its competitors — cable TV company Mediacom and telephone company Frontier Communications — over whether a publicly funded network should compete with private business. But the opponents were unsuccessful at stopping the project, and about half of the 1,500-mile fiber network will be built this year.

“Our funds are committed,” said Lake County Commissioner Paul Bergman in an interview Friday. “We’ve already applied for $40 million of our loan and grant money. It would take an act of Congress to kill the project now.”

They report that both Mediacom and Frontier are backing off the project. There is one potential hiccup, but even if that doesn’t go well, the network will press on…

The county’s only remaining challenge related to the broadband project is a $4.9 million, 2011 lawsuit over the way the county originally planned to obtain bonds for its roughly $3.5 million share of the nearly $70 million broadband network. The plaintiff, Orix Public Finance, alleged that it was initially asked to participate, then dropped from the project. It has asked U.S. District Court in Duluth for a summary judgment in its favor.

This entry was posted in FTTH, MN, Rural by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

2 thoughts on “Lake County Fiber Plan Apparently Good as Done

  1. Ann, Yesterday Lake Connections (The company administering the Lake County Fiber Internet project) had their grand opening in Two Harbors. They indicted that they are waiting on Phase 3 being “ok’d” by the Federal Government but that it was just a matter of dotting ‘i’s and crossing ‘t”s – They also, for the first time, released a pricing schedule for internet and phone connectivity (But nothing regarding digital television until 2014). The pricing structure is as follows per month: 30/10 Residential ($59.99) Business ($79.99) 30/30 Residential ($69.99) Business ($99.99) 50/10 Residential ($99.99) Business ($119.99) 50/50 Residential ($109.99) Business ($139.99) 100/50 Residential (NONE) Business ($199.99) 100/100 Residential (NONE) Business ($249.99). Phone service: Voice Local and unlimited Long Distance 1 Line Residential ($29.99) Business ($49.99)
    Equipment rental for gateway (which includes wi/fi capability): ($5.99) for both business and residential. This pricing has not been updated onto their website as of yet, but it was provided on flyers to those who attended the grand opening. Also, possibly of interest, my CenturyLink representative has contacted me recently expressing interest in how they can expand their services to me (which they have certainly never done before).

  2. Jim,

    Thanks a million for the update! It’s valuable to see the pricing. And interesting to hear that your CenturyLink rep is on top of the game contacting you. I wonder how they will compete with those speeds! Thx!!

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